PHL275H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Deontological Ethics, Universalizability, Kantianism

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8 Jul 2016
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Smart provides the framing innocent man example, however he also states that such situations are empirically unlikely. If i should do something, then it needs to possible for it to happen. Justice is done to minorities in situations in order to maximize happiness. The right action and the just action don"t always coincide. Utilitarian verdicts can involve serious injustices: suppose that the sheriff of a small town can prevent serious riots (in which hundreds of people will be killed) only by framing" and executing (as a scapegoat) an innocent man. And the sheriff knows no one will find out. A: frame & execute the innocent man [-500 utility] B: let the riot occur [-250 x 150 = -37 500 utility: such situations are empirically unlikely. According to utilitarianism, there is a point at which the happiness of a majority licences suffering of a minority. Utilitarianism doesn"t respect the separateness of persons.

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